• U.S.

Gore’s Money Troubles

2 minute read
Michael Weisskopf

Al Gore is having a hard enough time convincing Democratic Party leaders that he deserves another shot at the presidency in 2004. But now he may be having trouble where it really counts: with his moneymen. The latest setback comes from Jonathan Tisch, the New York City hotelier who has generously backed Gore causes since 1988, giving the Democratic Party $325,000 during Gore’s 2000 presidential bid. Sources tell TIME that Tisch recently informed Gore he’s uncommitted for 2004. That might not sound like a rebuff, but considering Tisch’s previously unwavering support for Gore, Democratic insiders were stunned.

Tisch was just one of several Gore loyalists missing from Gore’s June “donor retreat” in Memphis, Tenn. Also AWOL were all but a few Democratic patrons from the key campaign-money centers of Hollywood and New York City. Now, with Tisch’s refusal to commit to Gore, the former Veep may have more trouble than he ever imagined raising the $30 million-plus he will need to compete against a crowded–and to date well-financed–field of candidates in the Democratic primaries.

Spokesmen for Gore and Tisch refused to discuss private talks between the two. Democratic elders say Gore still has time to catch up in the race for dollars. For now, though, it seems far from his mind. In New York City recently, Gore had lunch at Tisch’s Regency Hotel. His old friend was there too–dining with someone else.

–By Michael Weisskopf

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